Friday, December 30, 2011

Parked the Ferrari Out Front

Well obviously no news this week except to say a big Merry Christmas to everyone. Builders are now on holidays and we're anxiously waiting for the holidays to be over so we can see some action on our lot, funny isn't it, first time I've worked over Christmas and I'm dying for the holidays to be over. My assumption is it will be pretty quiet over at Jordan Springs for another week with the place getting busy again on the 9th of January. We may see some activity next week but I doubt it, I've seen the odd painter and carpenter there though so anything is possible.

On a side note if you follow my blog you'll also know I live around the corner from Jordan Springs and I'm over at Jordan Springs almost daily. You can often find me, my wife Peta and my little boy Jordan walking around nearly every weekend looking at all the new homes and playing in the park. Keep an eye out for the Ferrari though.

Thanks to my dad, Jordan received a cool little toy for Christmas which is perfect for the bush tracks and wide footpaths over at Jordan Springs. This electric car can be controlled by Jordan or daddy can take ownership with a remote control. We've taken it over their twice since he got it to let him drive it around. Not bad huh. It also has a stereo in it in which you can even plug your ipod into it.

We parked it next to my car and in the driveway so you know to keep a look out for it. Thanks Pop and Nana Lisette.

Have a great new year everyone. Hopefully we'll have more to share soon.

Here's a few more shots f my little one in his new car.

Pulling into our new driveway.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Woolworths Jordan Springs

Received a letter the other day about the DA application for the development of the new shopping centre at Jordan springs. Pleased to know it's going to be a Woolworths and not a Coles which is really going to help the competition in the area. I'm more a Woolworths fan as well so I'm pretty stoked about this.

You can view all the documents on the Penrith DA tracker site but here's some pictures etc from the various documents to give you a taste of what's to come. (DA11/1348)

Hepburn's wish of a Sold Sign

Well the last few weeks have been tough. We've been making sure everything is alright with our final plans, signing off on all variations and dealing with some personal issues that have been pushing us beyond our limits at times. The good news is there's light at the end of the tunnel now and we just received a nice email from Kurmond Homes.

I truly believe in trying to stay positive in all situations and showing respect at all times to people. At the end of the day we have to deal with other people and I think if you treat people right then you will be treated with the same respect. If I have one piece of advice I can give to anyone building it's to take that approach even as a customer. I've built a relationship with Kurmond homes and I don't go off my tree at them, I know they can make mistakes, they're only human and they don't mean to do wrong by anyone. I accept certain things take time and nothing is for free. This makes negotiating much easier, getting things done quicker, and if I need to push a bit on time they actually really do try to help out.

So this morning's email was simply titled.....

"Fw: Hepburn's wish of a Sold Sign"

I told Kerry at Kurmond Home's about all the issues we've gone through over the past weeks but never really pushed them to hurry up. About 3 weeks ago though I did mention that we had to have a slab soon to meet the Stamp Duty requirements. I then went on to mention how after all the drama's we've had we were really just waiting to get a sign on our land so we could get a photo, we didn't want anything except to be able to stand on our land with a sign that said Kurmond Homes so we could believe this was all real. Delfin did this for the first release and got everyone pictured with their lot putting SOLD stickers on their signs. But for the second release (mine) they didn't do this at all, instead we had to drive around to our street and look on the white pegs for our lot number. We were so dissapointed we couldn't celebrate this. I told Kurmond Homes (Kerry) this 3 weeks ago and said how I couldn't wait to even just get the fences up. I got the above titled email this morning with two pictures attached. You wouldn't believe how happy we were to see it.

As I said being a great customer also means a lot. I still really appreciate the service by Kurmond Homes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Day Another Levy (Long Service)

Well it seems as someone who is building I should be responisble for making sure my contractors are rewarded with long service entitlements. You would think the $350,000 + would simply be enough.

From their website....
"The levy is paid into a fund administered by the Long Service Corporation, and from this fund, the Corporation makes long service payments to building and construction workers."

Seriously - why isn't their employer looking after it? I'm going to see what I can do about it.

A friend was stung with this the other day so I thought I'd better let everyone else know about it to be prepared. Heck that's why I'm blogging all this info, to help others while I learn from the mistakes for next time perhaps.

You can ask your builder to include it in your tender so you don't have to pay for it, perhaps some can still negotiate. Perhaps your builder just pays it and doesn't worry about it, I don't know. What frustrates me is why aren't the builders telling us all of this so we know what to expect. The levy is a long service levy payable to your council for any building works over $25,000. The amount is 0.35% of the construction price. So for my base $220,000 building cost, I will be up for $770. Your certifier will hand you the bill when they give you the construction certificate.

More details can be found here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

$500 Infrastructure Restoration Bond

I got asked about this today and had forgot all about it. For anyone building in Jordan Springs (or any Penrith Suburb to that fact). Penrith Council have only recently introduced a new council bond payable to them which must be paid before you're allowed to get your construction certificate.

The bond is $500 and you will need to fill out the form yourself and even go out to your site and take photo's of any cracks in footpath.

The form and details can be found on Penrith Councils website. Here's a link if you wish to have a look. Make sure you have your camera ready. Once you get the receipt back send it straight into your builder.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tiles and Stairs

So tiles are a funny thing, be prepared for the shock of your life when you get the variation price. To be honest with your bathrooms I'd just go with the standard range and look to upgrade you main floor, bathrooms are much easier to come back to later. Gotta say Kurmond Home standard are pretty good, we were looking at an upgrade to Porcealin but the tilers are just way to expensive.I went into Manago and didn't tell them I was building with the builder (as if I wouldn't do this)

The Maths on our Main Floor Tile
Std Tile = $25/sqm (My allowance)
Upgrade Tile = $32/sqm
Upgrade cost on Labour $20/sqm
Kurmonds Margin = 30%

I have 100sqm so this should be easy right?

$7 difference for tile = $700
$20 labor extra = $2000

So Variation should be $2700+$810 (30%) = $3,510

My Variation Price = $5,190 WTF!@! (Yes I'll ask about them a bit later. I plan to challenge that and see what they'll do)

When I told him I was actually building with Kurmond the story changed big time, oh, ooh, ahh....umm...yeh well Kurmond have to get carpenters back etc so they charge for that. Yeah whatever, Kurmond have to do that even if your laying a standard tile you dicks. Like I said didn't really like there tile company, everyone else has been fair and reasonable, these guys seem like they just want to rip me off and tell me stories how if I was building with Metricon I'd be paying triple that. If you sell tiles to the public, you shouldn't be bumping your tile price up for home builders because you think you can milk them.

With the bathrooms we decided to roll back on the variation. Our total variation for tiles was $14,500 so you can see why, now we just have the $5,190 to look at and I've given up tiling to the ceiling, I plan to ask them for the lot (dye) numbers so I can do it myself after I move in. I got sick of arguing so we decided to pick from the standard. As you can see they look pretty good anyway.

Std range of tiles for Kurmond Homes, actually not to bad.

So I admittedly stuffed up. In the sales process, all my ears heard was "Timber Stairs", yeh thinking to myself, nice wooden polished stairs will look so nice and are standard. I was an idiot. Timber can mean MDF, then carpeted. (As in at least not concrete). So off to the stair people we went, now having to look at making a small change to the stairs. These guys were great.

We're lucky in the sense we have stairs in between two walls so it makes upgrading a little easier and cheaper. What we decided to do was keep the rises painted and put a timber on the actual step only. Having timber rises in our house would have looked to strong seeing we've gone for warm colours and modern coffee colours and tiles. All wood stairs would have defiantly looked odd. The stairs get installed and it's up to the owner to organise to stain them, keep this in mind if you have stairs.

As for the hand rail I went with a rectangle type of rail which will also be put on the wall going up to the second floor, held by some chrome. Again keeping the modern sharp edge feel going through the home. Rails are the standard silver rails, timber balustrade with a chrome ring, these will be painted the same as the walls. I haven't got final quote back yet, but guess by the guy was about $3200, which is good (Hopefully it stays at that). A couple were in there at the time and they had MDF carpeted stairs and wanted to replace them, I was over hearing them and it was about $45k. Ouch!!! Do it upfront I think.

This is the type of look, painted rises and sides, but timber treads, more so because our stairs are between walls, our paint isn't white though.

Our posts. Kept it simple.

Rectangle hand rail, up the top of the stairs and also put on the wall coming down the stairs.

Steel posts, we won't have those circle looking things on ours.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Variations - anyone want to buy a Lung

I tried to prepare myself for this, I knew it was coming. Like walking into a dark bear cave knowing a bear was in there but you're being pushed in with your hands tied behind your back, being served as lunch.

Early in this process I researched variations, it seemed to me the average was about $20,000. You needed that much no matter who you were if you were looking to upgrade the "must do" items. Things that are so hard to do later that you almost have no choice. For example putting a porcelain tile in now might cost $5,000. Replacing your tiles later in the whole first floor might cost $20k-$30k. We saved hard for years and had $20k.

For those following my blog know though that all came crashing down when the bank reneged on our loan after it expired. Valued at the full price in December when we paid our deposit, re-evaluated June 16th this year, 10 days after it expired at 20k less. We kept saving from December though, and stillare to this day as we knew this was coming.

Problem is.......we don't have 20k.

Guess what, the variations so far (bare minimum) is at 18k. Anyone want to buy a lung?

So now we're not to sure how to handle it, we're doing our best to make sure we get everything and to be honest I think we'll get there somehow, you always do somehow. If your're building be prepared for this, it will make things much easier. Knuckle down and keep saving too.

As for a general update our house is council approved and we're just waiting on our construction certificate. The variations are all being finalised and we should be able to start building in the coming weeks if Kurmond Homes are ready.

Kurmond have still been fantastic for us and are doing their best, they still feel a bit under resourced at times though. Some of their suppliers are their weak point. Tile contractors are frustrating, not happy with the variation price at all. Probably more so because my old man does Kitchens and Bathrooms so I know I'm being ripped off.

Electrical was about what I thought but there seems to be a huge lack of knowledge with the Fibre to the home (FTTH) at Jordan Springs and with all the builders. For those who didn't know, Jordan springs is a FTTH estate and if you buy in Jordan Springs you must install it for your services. You're not allowed to have a TV Antenna on your roof at all, you must run your TV through the FTTH cable.

Speaking with a few people yesterday it appears Delfin and the government are having issues. Some people have moved in to Jordan Springs and have no TV, no phone and no internet. The sub contractors for the builders seem to have no real idea either. Trying to explain what I wanted was liking speaking chinese. I knew more about it then the contractor and to be honest that worried me. The deal in the past was that no matter who you were building with at Jordan Springs you had to use Open Networks to install everything who had experience doing this. They're now out of the picture and it seems like the builders can arrange it all now. That's ok but I'm not sure I'm getting the right thing which is a bit scary.

Oh well, if you have any questions let me know. I'll do my best to answer them. Once my variations are done I'll post them all up to.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Been a while so time for an update.

It's been a while since I posted an update, my wife and I went through a real busy patch with work and it's nice to be on holidays at the moment just spending the next two weeks at home cleaning up and getting our current house a bit closer to ready for renting it out.

As for an update with the house the plans are now in with council, they were submitted on the 7th of October. The Preliminary assessment has been completed on the 26th so I'm hoping it's now only days away from being determined, as long as they haven't found any issues.

The Penrith e-planning website is great. I keep an eye on what the rest of the street is doing and look at all the other cool houses going up nearby. It's nice to know what's going next door as well. If you know your DA number just type that in or do what I do and type an address in and search, then hit the property button so see all the DA's. The link is

As for Jordan springs, it's coming along real nice. If anyone is interested in building and buying land over there let me know. If I refer people I can get $1000 for me and for the buyer. Always good to help each other out. Jordan Springs actually is selling blocks in the next section called the Northbridge 2 release today. There's 45 new blocks of land for sale. It looks like a nice spot too, it's the part where it will be heading up to the park on top of the hill. I went and had a look yesterday and I can imagine enjoying a nice stroll up that hill to the park, looking out west to the mountains. The picture in my head looks amazing.

We have yet to do our internal colours and electrical, Kurmond say they wait for the council plans to be approved before doing those to ensure there aren't any changes. Hopefully if all goes well we will start building before Christmas.

Once things start happening I'll be updating things more regularly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Signing everything this week.

Well the bank stuff is sorted. Basically now everything is approved and we're good to go. Westpac came through at the end of the day after I basically said they were about to lose me and my wife as a customer and all our bank accounts.

Tomorrow night we head in to the bank to sign our paperwork, Tuesday we go into Kurmond to pay our first big payment (second) and sign our contracts. (After I get them to fix a few things)

We should be building by Christmas some time which is good. People who bought in Jordan Springs have 26 weeks from settlement to start building otherwise they maybe required to pay Stamp Duty they signed the stat declaration for. Ours ends Dec 16th so we're leaving it a bit late because of all our hurdles, don't worry though, if the builder knows they can arrange a letter to have the time extended but you need to let your builder know upfront.

We've done our tiles and we need to go back and do more (electrical etc), but it doesn't matter now as the plans will be off as of Tuesday so I'm happy.

On another note I've contacted open networks about what we need to do to connect he FTTH connection. Their website makes no sense to me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Valuation for Construction Back

Another kick in the guts.......

Westpac have come back with an evaluation on our Kurmond Homes house being $30,000 less. This is another kick in the guts and strange seeing that to build similar homes from the likes of Eden Brea, Zac Homes or Metricon we would be paying 100k for the same style and size home.

With all the maths worked out this means we need to find another $16k to $20k now to build our home, before our grant runs out in 4-5 months. If you've read all my blog you would know the debacle with the land we had to use some of our own money for the construction deposit to get the land, roughly $25k. So if the bank/mortgage insurer evaluators didn't screw us in the first place we would be fine. But thanks again to the evaluators where now going to jump through some magic hoops again to get our home built. Taking the house down by 30k wont help either as the value from the bank will come down. We would have to drop $100k to have no issues which means going for a much smaller home, not something where willing to do for a difference of $16k. Keeping in mind we can afford the repayments easily and the bank was happy to lend the full amount until the evaluation came back.

After all this keep in mind we've already paid so much out of our savings. For the house and land so far we have paid out $60,000 of our savings, and we have about $30,000 left for our construction. So by the end of it if we find this $16,000 we would have paid out $106,000 of our own money up front.It's so crazy I should have not paid LMI at all once it's all done.

The bank manager (Aloka) is arguing our case because of everything we've been through and is escalating and trying to get us a better deal. We're expecting to hear something over the next few days. Oh well, off to figure out how we find 16k to 20k now in case this doesn't work. Next stop first though will be to another bank.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Variations and an Update

We've been a bit quiet lately, more so because of work and basketball commitments taking a priority. It's getting exciting over at Jordan Springs, the display village is now open with 16 homes, and 2 more to open in two weeks time. There are so many houses going up also it's really starting to come together. Here's a shot from the car park yetserday, we also got a free sausage sizzle in our park which was great, we all got to wear our lot numbers but sadly I didn't see any neighbours. I did get to meet 2 couples who read this blog funnily enough, nice to meet James, Deon and Ursula. Looks like we're going to have a nice community of people.

We got our construction loan approved on Friday and we're just waiting on an evaluation to come back on the land (Crazy huh - we've had about 4 of those done in the last month). What this means is we should be able to sign the contract next week and our plans will head into Delfin and Jordan Springs.

We still need to go back into Kurmond Homes and finish of our selections but we delayed that so we could make sure we got the banking stuff out of the way. I assume we'll be back in there next week or the week after to pick internals. We had some external variations which I think were priced pretty good. Some things cheaper then others.

Upgrade to Garage door to Ceder - $395
Maroka Upgrade to front Facade (We had some but we made more Moroka) - $620
Upgrade to Translucent windows to Bathroom, Ensuite and W/C - $172
Upgrade to Translucent on Front Door - $45
Upgrade to Taubmans Jarrah on Front Door - $43

To be honest I'm really happy with this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Colours and Contracts

We've finished and signed off on our external colours basically. I've attached our colour board for those interested but they're pretty much the colours we stated before.

Our Colour Board

As for contracts I went in to see Peter at Kurmond Homes last weeks and had my contracts and other paperwork fixed up due to a mistake with someone there sending me old documents. This was all fixed up in 5 minutes so I was glad to go in and just get it sorted. If you're having troubles, just head in there and get it fixed, he didn't mind at all.

I've now sent the fixed contracts off to our solicitor for comment and review. We're using Joe Grassi and Associates in Penrith as this guy is very well known for being an expert in property and building law. While I've noticed a few issues since reading the contracts he will be sure to pick up even more. Here are some notes I asked about.

  •  Excess Sand, gravel or Soil removal
  • Any insurances or bonds (like what happens if they crack a footpath??) And the length of those insurances if the build takes longer. As in I don’t want to keep paying for anything like that over time. Are these included in this terminology?
  •  Refund of any insurance bonds that aren't used.
  • Ensure all warranties, instruction manuals, serial numbers for all products installed in the house are provided by the builder.
  •  I’m concerned about rain days, I think if there’s a roof on and they’re working inside the house rain days should be looked at? I live around the corner so I’ll know. I think it should state only can be claimed before roof is put on.
  • Should the contract state the warranty for the actual house?
  • The contract of sale states no gas connection but the tender does.
We also have an appointment with the bank on Wednesday to start the ball rolling with the construction loan, as some of you know we lost a huge chunk of our building deposit due to our land being re valued at settlement. We now we have to see how the bank plays with that one.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Waiting, so here's a Jordan Springs Penrith Update

I'm a big fan of keeping track of things and seeing how my new suburb is going to evolve. I've been watching closely the DA's at Penrith Council on the plans being submitted to council from Delfin. I must admit, it's looking like I've made a good purchase. Take a look at some of the screens below from DA applications. You'll get a feel for the future of Jordan springs and why it's going to be such a lovely place to live. Interesting that stage 2, that's the next part to be developed will be down a nice long road through the corridor of trees. Some good buys I think. I feel lucky, I'm nice and close to everything, I guess that's the benefit of buying in stage 1.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Colours 2

I got some sample pots thanks to the advice from De Novo Concepts and as you can see in the photo below they look a little grey, light in the photo, surprisingly though in real life they look a lot better, I think that's been half my problem. Looking at colours on a computer screen really doesn't help. The two colours below are exactly the same as found on the below photo.In real,life they look a lot nicer. I ended up getting the Bristol ringtail Possum in a taubmans paint from Bunnings. They told me to give the builder the code, not sure what I give them as it says.

Formula: Ringtail Possum- B133
Library: Taubmans_W.LIB
Range: Bristol 2024
Base/Can: Accent / .25 Litre
B             0Y           2N                          C                             0Y           19N        0.25
I               0Y           3N          0.75        

I've played around with my photoshop file to try and match it a bit better. Does this look any better? Do you think I have the colours in the right spot? I also made the metal above the door the same as the garage wall.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Playing with Colours

Thought I'd play around on Photoshop this morning, what do you think of the below. Considering I'm doing my best to make it look like the colours we selected. I plan to send this to the girl at Kurmond.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ok, we're coluorblind!

So we've had some issues with colours, the first time we went in we walked out with some views the colours looked to light for us but we weren't sure. We decided to research and found that to be the case, the browns we looked at looked ok but in reality when painted on we might as well said we were after a white and grey house. These colours look ok, but it's not really our tatse and w're after something warmer which compliments the nice green surroundings. My wife and I are after some nice browns. 

We have the below at this stage, what do you think? We're still umming and ahhing. The Taubmans Chocolate bay was suggested by Kurmond as I was after a Bristol Colour from the two example house below. I'm thinking I should just go get some bristol paint made up and then get them to tell me the code in Taubmans. We were orignally after Bristols ringtail Possum which is seen on the two eden brea homes below.

- Bricks - PGH Chocolatto, off white Mortar
- Roof - Ebony in tiled contour
- Window Frame – Custom Black Matt.
- Fascia – Monument 
- Downpipes and Watertank – Monument
- Garage Door: Paperbark (Looking at cost to change to wood)
- Moroka Colour 1 – Taubmans Greenstead (T112-8A)
- Moroka Colour 2 (Arch) – Taubmans Chocolate Bay (T118-7)
- Cladding – Taubmans Chocolate Bay (T118-7) hmmmm.....not sure on this.
- Eaves - not sure? 

- Porch Louvers: Silver (not painted)
- Driveway - Charcoal
- Front door - Taubmans Jarah

Here's a pic of the greenstead on another Homeone members house. Our finish will be Moroka though.

As for the Chocalate Bay this is the best I can find.

Moroka Colour 1 is for around the garage and the right side of the house (we upgraded to Moroka).
Moroka Colour 2 is for the doorway.

Should we change that? 

Here's our plan again, thoughts?

Inspiration came from these two Eden Brea Homes, obviously we want black window frames.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Settlement Tick.....Missing Organs

Well as of 3:15 it's all confirmed, we now officially own our lot at Jordan Springs. While it has cost us an organ we're just happy to say it's ours (the banks). The next job for us is to finish the building contract and take that back to the bank for approval. Should be interesting seeing they pre-approved it with the $30,000 in savings we just spent on settling the land  because of the banks reneged agreement....that we don't have now. Oh well they put us in this mess, now they need to get us out of it. If not I'm sure someone will.

Happy days anyway, now I wonder if we can look at it yet, visited yesterday (I only live around the corner) and the gates were still up, but it looked real close to being open.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kurmond Homes - Exterior Colour Experience

Well we went in and done our External colours and we left a little confused. We didn't have a camera so we're waiting on them to email us back with the list so we can share our final selections. We're probably going o go back in there anyway to finalise.

Some tips before you go in to meet with them.

  • They use Taubmans Paints on the exteriors. But they will only show you the Taubmans brochure as a guide to selecting your colours. This is all they had in the office and looking at the brochure really didn't help us. We started picking colours of the brochure to match our ideas and after we left we realised they actually weren't good enough. You can get the brochure at Bunnings, head in and grab it. Then perhaps jump online first and look at all their range and go in more prepared. I wish we new who they used up front. We since after leaving done this and we're starting again for the two main colours.
  • They use Taubmans for the cladding, facia and eves as well. Same range of paints.
  • They use colorbond for the garage doors, guttering and windows. You have to do your best to match the house colours. We went with Monument for the gutters. 
  • Staining the front door is extra supposedly, I told them I'm not paying for that. If they can't sort that out then I'll do it. It's the same effort to stain the door as painting.
  • We upgraded our front door handle to suit the big door. Will cost extra.
  • None of the windows are frosted including the bathroom windows, that's extra. I told them I'm ok to pay as long as it covers the cost of the film they use. Otherwise I'll do it after, again they better not charge to much.
  • The roof colours were good, the only cost differences came down to shape. We went with a pretty std flat one with a slight groove. I thought it looked better then the pricier version to be honest.
  • They use Austral bricks. This was ok, we've gone with the chocalate colour brick below. They have a range of different bricks, the range changes in price and there's fancier colours but we were happy with our colour which was in the std range.

Land settles Next Friday - 17th of June 2011

Well it's official, land settles on the 17th of June at 3pm. I've been out to Jordan Springs a few times and it looks like they're about to open the gates to the second phase. They also started putting together the landscape at the front of the area which I think will get one of those nice Jordan Springs signs. The sales and information office is almost complete too. They were aiming to have the display village open this weekend, but it looks like they're a few weeks behind, probably due to all the wet weather.

This leads me to the next question, should you inspect he actual land before settling? We still haven't see the lot yet.

As far as the grant stuff goes, we're still not sure what's going on. It looks like I have the Minister for housing trying to work something out, we've even been told to hold off to the last minute before getting the cheque to settle as they maybe able to do something about it. Come next Friday I'll be forking out $27,000 (+ $13,000 deposit last year). That means I'll nearly have paid 20% of the land value. Crazy isn't it. But will they factor that in the construction loan?

Monday, May 30, 2011

View from Space Update

Just went and checked out Nearmaps and it seems the view from space was updated. You can actually see our road now. I've put on the pictures below roughly where our place is going. Exciting stuff.

Been A while but the gears are turning.

Well it's been a while since my last post. Basically nothing has happened seeing we were waiting on our land to be settled and given some direction by the builders. Well early last week we got the call. Our lot is ready to be settled in about 2 weeks. Kurmond homes must have got the memo also as they have been in contact with me a few times in the last two weeks also. Other then that, not to much contact from them, but no real need to up until now.

Seeing we got talking to Kurmond again we decided to review our plan one more time. I jumped online and noticed they updated there Strand 39 not only with our changed, but someone else made a smart change to the upstairs ensuite. So we decided to ask for that change also. Peter at Kurmond homes had no issues with that and made the change. See below a quick pic.

The plan of attack moving forward is pretty simple.

  • Wednesday we head into Kurmond homes to choose our outside colours. We'll also pick up a building contract and sustainability check sheet so we can get our grant. I'll be talking to Kurmond about timings now with council etc from this point.
  • On the June long weekend or there about's we should be able to settle on the land.
For those following my HAF fund issue a bit of an update. We got nowhere, tried a few banks and just decided to cop it on the chin, but with a bit of a fight. We took our complaint all the way up and almost went to the banking ombudsmen. We only stopped before there as we decided we still haven't got final approval on our construction loan and we didn't want to push our luck. We did write to the Minister for Housing and sadly they went and attacked the people at Delfin, rather then the mortgage insurers. That upset Delfin a bit but my point was that the insurers are deducting any grants from the value of the house which makes the grant useless. Good news for us is that we found out we can settle using the grant (so it doesn't even touch our hands) as long as we had a few documents completed and a building contract. This means we no longer have to try and find a shortfall of $9500 and also lose our construction deposit.

the risk now is the bank comes back and does something stupid with the construction loan, I hope not. Also it means we're going to find it tough paying two mortgages towards the en of construction as we planned to use some of the grant to live off. Oh well, they say building isn't easy.

Either way, I'm getting excited again. I live every day dreaming about moving into a home that we can much better call our own. Our current house was a stepping stone, our next is much more for us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beware - Mortgage Insurers fighting government grants!

Hit a huge hurdle yesterday. For those that don't know Jordan Springs falls in an area which receives the Housing Affordability Fund. The fund was set-up by the Australian government to entice people to building brand new homes to stimulate the economy and to stimulate new property being built due to Australia's housing shortage. Jordan Springs rebate came to a total of $22,600. To get this the purchaser needs to submit building plans and a building contract at settlement.

Well last year (December) we had to obviously place our deposit on our land for the 5%, to do that we went to the banks and ensured there were not going to be any issues. We got everything pre-approved basically. The land we got approved but obviously our land was being released in June so we would have to sit on the approval until then. If you have been readin the blog you will know that our first loan attemp was knocked back because mortgage insurers wouldn't cover the grant (Keep in mind that there is only 2 mortgage insurers in Australia that the banks use). See this post for what happened before... OMG! What is wrong with Jordan Springs!! 

Anyway for some reason Westpac had on our loan contract that it expired April 24th and told us that there's no issues in just simply extending the loan, we would have to submit some payslips and savings again. They made us jump through hoops but we did it. A few weeks went by and I told Peta that something was up, this should have come back straight away, what happened next blew me away.

The other mortgage insurers are now saying what the Bankwest insurers were saying, they have valued the land less exactly $22,000. The amount of the grant. We've now been told we have to cover the difference. This is after we've paid a deposit on the land and a 2% payment to draw up our plans. We've basically spent $20,000 already.

The issue for us now is we have to use our construction loan 5% deposit to settle on the land. Obviously we will get the $22,600 back afterwards but all our plans have been stuffed up. We also need to find $9500 to settle with a building contract so we can get the grant, as we'll be $9500 short of the 5% building deposit payment.

So beware, the mortgage insurers are doing a dirty trick, and there out to screw people over. I'll be looking to write to the government in the next day or so and see what I can do it about, in the mean time I'll have to start selling my overweight body to try and find $9500 in two months.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Plans Updated - More to come...

See attached the latest plans. So far Kurmond have been really good with making the changes, they have forgotten a few things each time I've sent them my long list of details but they have turned the changes around very quickly, sometimes within hours.

I'm really impressed with the latest plan and I'm really happy with the design now, here are some changes that have been made in case you didn't notice.

  • Changed alfresco single sliding doors to cornerless stacker. This cost us a fair whack to change as we need a metal support beam, but we decided it was something we couldn't fix later.
  • Changed the front door to be taller and wider at 1200 wide. Allows us to bring things in easier.
  • Change all door heights to 2340 on the bottom floor, bulkheads and window head height to 2400. We did this as we had 9" ceilings.
  • Moved the gas points around. The one in the family room moved to the middle so perhaps later we can put one of those fireplace things in. Alfresco moved next to tap (east side), BBQ will probably go this side.
  • Changed window heights and lengths.
Still a  few things to get fixed though but we're not far off.
  • Need a manhole upstairs.
  • AC ducts need to be shown upstairs
  • Need clarification on Facade material
  • Rainwater tank, missing? Plus slab for tank.
  • Gas points not shown on slab plan.
We sent this off yesterday so hopefully should get an update today or tomorrow. Our next plan is to go in and speak with Kurmond about Electrical, carpet and tiles etc and sort out all the extras. This way we can work out whether we will be in trouble or not. I'm sure there's some surprises we don't know about yet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Set of Plans - Dad What you doing this weekend?

Well funny story, we received our first plans and they put the wrong house on the plan. We quickly shot off some notes to them telling them to fix it and at the same time jotted some key things that were missing from the original plan. We've just got the 2nd set of plans now to take a look at. No electrical plan yet as we get to decide that but only a few changes. I decided to put a cold water point next to the fridge space in case we decide to get one of those fridges with the ice maker.

Take a look and let me know ideas and thoughts. I plan to hit my dad up this weekend and get his feedback too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All ok - Kurmond Homes It Is

Bank has come back and we're all good to move on with our home. We've decided for the Strand 40 by Kurmond Homes. We will be customising things a bit inside to suit us so it's not exactly the same. The front lounge room will become my much needed Man Cave for example.

As for Facade we're thinking of mixing the traditional and ultra-modern together to make the facade we want. We like the sqaure garage rather then that little roof bit to the side, also the porch roof we like sqaure also to make it feel more modern. Saying that Peta doesn't mind the angled roof of the Kent ultra modern. What do you like?


Traditional Facade

Ultra Modern Facade

Ultra Modern - Kent